FOOTBALL cards from the 1930s, believed to be worth $1200, were stolen from an elderly man when his Wodonga home was burgled at the weekend.
Detective Leading Sen-Constable Aaron Ibbott, of Wodonga police, said the man was in the process of moving into a home in Woodland Street when it was broken into between 1.30pm Saturday and 1pm Sunday.
He said a burglar broke in through a back window and stole two folders containing up to 40 collectable football cards from the 1930s.
The man had been collecting the cards for years.
A maroon, older model four-door four-wheel-drive was seen in the vicinity of Woodland Street on Sunday between 1pm and 2pm.
A man between 40 and 50 years old with short, scruff hair was driving the car and “acting suspiciously”, Sen-Constable Ibbott said.
Michael Fahey, who values sports memorabilia with his Sydney-based business, said VFL cards from the 1930s came in cigarette packets.
“Cigarette cards were very popular from the 1880s to 1930s,” he said.
“Really, the 20s were the golden period ... they were very popular among children in that period.
“It was a way of getting people and, surreptitiously, kids to smoke but then people would trade them and then dad or granddad or uncle would give them to you.”
Mr Fahey said Scanlens started to make football cards with bubble gum in the 1960s before they became stand-alone sports cards to become a “massive industry”.
Rick Milne, a sports memorabilia expert and the official valuer for the AFL, said cards from the 1930s were the most common cards that came out.
“Ninety per cent of the ones you’ll find are worth $4 or less,” he said.
Anyone with information is urged to phone Wodonga police on (02) 6049 2600 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.